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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6953 reviews in the archive.

Stewart MacDonald  3R  Banjo Reviews

Submitted by stumpkicker (see all reviews from this person) on 9/10/2003

Where Purchased: Catalogue

Year Purchased: 1979
Price Paid: 125 ($US)


This was my 2nd banjo. (see my Harmony review) I was just getting into bluegrass. Good sound that improved as it aged.

Sound Rating: 8


The action was a little high so I used a 1/2 inch bridge and put the taile piece as far down as I could without touching and kept the head tight.

Setup Rating: 8


It came with simple dot inlays which I replaced with stars. I also put a quarter moon with stars in the peghead. For the first year it had only a Tung oil finish. Then I got a wipe on varnish from Stew Mac (which they no longer sell) and it looks good

Appearance Rating: 8


Not fancy but no complaints.

Reliability Rating: 8

Customer Service

Customer Service: not rated


Beautiful mahagony neck and resonator.

Components Rating: 9

Overall Comments

Stew Mac doesn't sell kits anymore, and around 1990 it sold for over $600, 5 times my price. It was the best bang for the banjo buck in existence. But if I could do it without help, anyone could. I sill have it, and keep it at work behind the disk drives in the computer room. I'm lucky enough to have lunch jams with other pickers.

Overall Rating: 8

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